Love, Loss, Silence…

Love and Loss and Silence

Easter 5 and 6 and 7 guide the liturgical Christian into reflections upon love and loss. Three weeks: “Love one another as I have loved you,” and, “I am going away,” and then, silence : “Do not leave us comfortless.” 

These weeks approaching and embracing the Ascension invite the church to sit with the loss of the sense of Christ as person (however weirdly Resurrected and unrecognizable and do-not-touch-me I’m not-yet-ascended that person might have appeared those forty days).

What do you mean you’re going away? You just rose from the grave! We just got used to you popping in and out of rooms, sneaking up beside us on the road, cooking breakfast on the beach. Why would you leave us … again? Where are you going? And why do you say we can’t come with you?

There he goes! I love this whimsical image of Jesus floating off into golden light almost as much as I love the countless medieval images of Jesus' feet disappearing into the Cloud. Ascension, Andrea di Vanni D'Andrea, 1355-60, detail

Jesus takes the disciples to the liminal place between city and desert, their holy place on the Mount of Olives. The Cloud envelopes him. He’s gone. 



These words echo in the silence of the dissipating theophany: Love one another.

The challenges of Love in action consecrate the followers of Christ at Pentecost. From that upper room they are SENT (apostolos=apostles) to “the ends of the earth”. And there’s no end to the challenges and mysteries of loving in a world of suffering.

These liturgical impressions form the soundscape, the key signature, the rhythm behind my thoughts this week. Love. Loss. Then something happens that evokes old insecurities and nightmarish memories. That old melody wends plaintively around the chords and rhythm of the liturgical season. Love. Loss. The sacred and the profane. Specific, temporal pain like a solo violin descant over the ancient harmonies of love and loss.

What IS my life all about? Why did this happen ? Why that? Why was I so / stupid / young / foolish / ignorant / whatever specific failure I happen to remember (or was prodded to remember reluctantly). Everyone knows this song in his or her own language. What’s the meaning, purpose, resolution? 

For me, it’s love. Love motivated my mistakes and achievements, moral and spiritual. You make decisions for love and find later you lacked all the information you needed. You fall down and get up again. You mean well. You suffer silently for love. You make sacrifices no one dares to notice. You progress in increments only to try to take a short cut and fall off a cliff.

In the end, however, there’s one Love. These lesser loves and failures strengthen your surrender to that impossible Love.

Love one another as I have loved you.” Believe, me, I’m trying!

2 Responses to “Love, Loss, Silence…”

  1. claire Says:

    Yes, my life is also about love. Couldn’t we say that each life is, even though it may be more precisely about absence of love, or longing for love, or messing up love…

    But my life also is about dancing for the Divine, with the Divine, while my heart bleeds with sorrow (sometimes). And singing for the Divine. Recently I remembered the book, The Thorn Birds, which I believe sang beautifully when they were being impaled on thorn bushes. Sometimes, I feel like that Thorn Bird…

    When I was a child, I used to dream to be like Marlene Dietrich, a beautiful face that never showed any emotion… I had hoped that with age, wisdom would come and emotions would fade away.

    Maybe I have to accept that Godde made me with emotions and is with me in everyone of them…

    Thank you for another beautiful post.

  2. Su Says:

    Thank you. I love the thought of …these lesser loves and fairlures strengthening our surrender to that impossible Love.

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